(Sports Network) - Matt Moore aims to follow up a terrific first start on
Wednesday when the Tampa Bay Rays try to salvage the finale of a three-game
series with the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark.
Moore, who has never faced the Rangers, opened his campaign in impressive
fashion against Cleveland on Friday, as he scattered two hits and struck out
eight over six scoreless innings.
"Usually, when I'm ahead (in the count), that really opens up options," Moore
said. "I kind of started expanding the zone a little bit. So that first pitch
is huge and tonight I was able to pop some two-seamers in there early, and
that set up the other stuff."
Texas, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Derek Holland, who will be trying
for his first win of the season. Holland did not get a decision on Friday
against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but pitched well, surrendering two
runs and six hits in seven innings of his team's 3-2 win. He also struck out
five and walked a batter.
"I'm very happy ... Overall, the performance was great," Holland said. "I gave
us a chance to win, and the guys came through for me. My defense was there,
and the bullpen, they kept the door shut. I did all I could, and they finished
up. If I keep doing this and giving my team a chance to win, it's going to be
a great season."
Holland is 4-2 lifetime versus the Rays with a 5.36 ERA in eight starts.
Texas got a terrific major league debut from Nick Tepesch on Tuesday and
received plenty of support from his Rangers teammates in a 6-1 victory.
Tepesch (1-0) yielded just one run and four hits while striking out five
batters before being removed with one out in top of the eighth. The rookie
retired 12 consecutive hitters before surrendering a single to Kelly Johnson
followed by a Desmond Jennings double in his final inning of work.
"It was a confidence booster," Tepesch said. "I'm extremely happy with how it
Lance Berkman was the offensive star in Texas' third straight win and sixth
triumph in seven outings following an Opening Night defeat, going 3-for-4 with
a two-run single.
Jennings recorded two of Tampa's four hits in the setback, the third in a row
for the Rays. Roberto Hernandez (0-2) was hit with the loss after permitting
six runs -- five earned -- over 6 2/3 innings.
"It's so early in the year you really can't get concerned," Rays manager Joe
The Rays, who were last swept the Rangers July 3-5, 2009, took five of nine in
this series last year.
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